GETTING GOD’S PERSPECTIVE
Almighty God, I praise you—you are my rock, my fortress and my deliverer. (2 Samuel 22:2-3)
Read PSALM 61
For the director of music. With stringed instruments. Of David.
1 Hear my cry, O God;
listen to my prayer.
2 From the ends of the earth I call to you,
I call as my heart grows faint;
lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
3 For you have been my refuge,
a strong tower against the foe.
4 I long to dwell in your tent forever
and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.[b]
5 For you, God, have heard my vows;
you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.
6 Increase the days of the king’s life,
his years for many generations.
7 May he be enthroned in God’s presence forever;
appoint your love and faithfulness to protect him.
8 Then I will ever sing in praise of your name
and fulfill my vows day after day.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectReflect on these words from the song ‘Who am I?’*: ‘You hear me when I’m calling / Lord, you catch me when I’m falling / And you’ve told me who I am / I am yours, I am yours…’
Psalm 61, like many psalms, starts with a cry for help and finishes with praise. David is feeling so weak and unable to help himself—he prays for a solution that is far greater than anything he could do for himself (‘the rock that is higher than I,’ v 2). He has confidence in asking God for help because of his past experience of God’s strength and protection (v 3).
Notice all the word pictures David draws of God in verses 2-4. Which of these brings you most comfort? During the COVID pandemic, when all our norms became like shifting sands, and life sometimes felt like wading through mud, I have been comforted by the numerous mentions of God the rock in the psalms.
As David turns to God and remembers what God has done for him in the past, he gains a more eternal perspective. The troubles he is facing are only temporary, but look at the glimpses of eternity in verses 4-8. Praise God that he also promises us the heritage of those who fear his name!
Try rewriting this psalm in your own words, putting in your own word pictures to describe God, your memories of his help in the past, and your confidence in his promises for the future.
God in heaven, you indeed are my stronghold, my refuge, and my salvation. You are worthy of my trust and praise. Help me to rest in you.
*‘Who Am I,’ Mark Hall/Casting Crowns 2004
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